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Technologies for Foreign Language Learning: A Review of Technology Types and Their Effectiveness

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Computer Assisted Language Learning Volume 27, Number 1, ISSN 0958-8221


This review summarizes evidence for the effectiveness of technology use in foreign language (FL) learning and teaching, with a focus on empirical studies that compare the use of newer technologies with more traditional methods or materials. The review of over 350 studies (including classroom-based technologies, individual study tools, network-based social computing, and mobile and portable devices) revealed that, in spite of an abundance of publications available on the topic of technology use in FL learning and teaching, evidence of efficacy is limited. However, strong support for the claim that technology made a measurable impact in FL learning came from studies on computer-assisted pronunciation training, in particular, automatic speech recognition (ASR). These studies demonstrated that ASR can facilitate the improvement of pronunciation and can provide feedback effectively. Additional studies provided strong support for the use of chat in FL learning. These studies showed that, with chat, both the amount of learners' language production and its complexity significantly increased. The literature revealed moderate support for claims that technology enhanced learners' output and interaction, affect and motivation, feedback, and metalinguistic knowledge.


Golonka, E.M., Bowles, A.R., Frank, V.M., Richardson, D.L. & Freynik, S. (2014). Technologies for Foreign Language Learning: A Review of Technology Types and Their Effectiveness. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 27(1), 70-105. Retrieved February 27, 2020 from .

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